Who is Zakia Jafri?

The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 24-06-2022 | 02:35 pm

Who is Zakia Jafri?

The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a plea filed by Zakia Jafri challenging a clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots.Zakia is the widow of Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who along with 68 others was killed inside the gated Gulberg Society, a lower-middle-class Muslim neighbourhood in Chamanpura, Ahmedabad, a day after the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat. Ehsan became president of Congress’ Ahmedabad branch in 1972. He was elected MP for Ahmedabad in 1977.Zakia has been fighting for justice since 2006, when she submitted a complaint stating the police had not registered FIRs against Modi and other top politicians in connection with the violence.Zakia’s call for justice gained momentum in 2008 when the Supreme Court ordered the government to re-investigate nine cases including the Gulberg Society incident. It set up a special investigation team (SIT) to look into Jafri’s complaint.The SIT filed a closure report in 2012 stating that it found no evidence against the accused. The court ordered the SIT to provide a copy of its report to Zakia. At the time Zakia had said, “Now, the real fight will begin. The court will have to listen to us before coming to any conclusion.” Her son, Tanveer, said they were waiting to see if the SIT’s closure report contained the submissions made by Raju Ramchandran, who was appointed amicus curiae in the case by the Supreme Court.Zakia has remained adamant about bringing the perpetrators of violence to justice. In 2016, speaking about a verdict by a special SIT court in Ahmedabad convicting 24, including a VHP leader, in the 2002 post-Godhra Gulberg society massacre, Zakia had said, “This verdict is half justice to me.”On Friday, the Supreme Court held that Zakia’s appeal was “devoid of merits and deserves to be dismissed”.

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